Why Adopting a Senior Pet is the Best for Your Family #HillsTransformingLives

See why adopting a senior pet is the best choice for your family.

This post is sponsored by Hill’s® Science Diet® and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the Adopt A Senior Pet Month and ‘Mission Adoptable’ Campaign, but Sunny Day Family only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

A few years ago, our local animal shelter had a litter of puppies available for adoption right before Christmas. The line to see them snaked around the building, and there were more than a few arguments in the lobby over them. And while I'm sure they all went to great homes, the truly lucky ones that day were the families who bypassed the line and chose to adopt an older pet instead. Because when it comes to choosing a pet for your family, adopting a senior dog or cat is often the best way to go.

See why adopting a senior pet is the best choice for your family! #ad #hillstransforminglives #adoptadog #adoptacat #seniorpets #seniordog #seniorcat

Why Your Family Should Adopt a Senior Pet

We have three pets in our family and they were all adopted from our local animal shelter. We adopted them all at different stages in their lives: one very young puppy, one adolescent dog, and one adult cat. Years later they are all now considered to be seniors, and they are more awesome than ever. If I had to do it over again, I would choose older pets right from the start. And here's why.

Experience counts. I love my dog Griffey, but the puppy stage was not so fun. Housetraining, chewing, jumping up on everything and everyone - no thanks. When you adopt a senior dog or cat, you can avoid much of the training that comes with a younger animal. Senior dogs are often house trained, crate trained, and are less likely to chew what they are not supposed to. 

When it comes to cats, you'll know your older cat's litter preferences and can be more confident that they will use the box correctly. You may even know what kind of scratcher they prefer so that you don't have to guess (and sacrifice your furniture).

What you see is what you get. With a senior pet, their personality is well formed and you can get a much better sense of how they will fit into your family. This is so important when you are introducing a pet into a home with children - you'll be able to tell easily by spending time with older dogs and cats at the shelter whether they are tolerant and even excited to be around kids. My dogs and cat are so much more accepting of my children now that they are a little older and more patient than they would have been when they were younger and still figuring out the world.

Seniors are all about the snuggles. When our pets were younger, they were on the go all the time. Now that they are seniors they are much more relaxed and love nothing more than spending time with me and my kids. Their play is more gentle and they love just hanging out with the family. Our older cat enjoys petting and cuddling much more than he did as a busy young adult.

They need us more. When you choose to go to the animal shelter and adopt a pet, you are choosing to save a life. And while people may line up to adopt the puppies and kittens, the older pets are often overlooked. Senior pets have just as much, if not more, love to give despite the fact that they may have a few more gray hairs (don't we all). 

Choosing to adopt a senior dog or cat means that you are showing your children the value in these wonderful animals, who are often at the shelter through no fault of their own. You are encouraging them to look past a gray hair or two to see the love and companionship older dogs and cats can give. And you are likely saving the life of an animal who will love you unconditionally in return.

Caring for your Senior Pet

At 13, our cat Biggie is the elder statesman of our family. But our older cat still has a lot of love to give and a lot of life to lead (our last cat lived to be almost 20, and a friend of ours has a cat that is over 20). 

But as he ages, we do things to keep him happy and healthy, like getting regular veterinary checkups every six months. We also feed him food that is specially formulated for his needs.

Proper nutrition, along with veterinary care, can play a key role in helping to keep older pets active, happy and healthy. That's why we choose Hill's® Science Diet® Youthful Vitality for Biggie. 

As pets grow older they have different nutritional needs than their younger friends. Hill's® Science Diet® Youthful Vitality has been scientifically developed for older pets' biology and can help fight the effects of aging in pets aged 7 or older. And Biggie loves it!

He loves the taste and I love knowing that I am supporting his needs with a food that is just right for older cats. I want to keep him healthy and happy for as long as possible and with the right food and care I know we will.

Mission Adoptable

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, so if you've been thinking about adding a pet to your family this is the perfect time to do it. And if you want to see how amazing older pets can really be, you need to check out Mission Adoptable from Animal Planet and Hill's Pet Nutrition.

Mission Adoptable is a new web series following senior pets from the SPCA of Texas on their quest to find new homes. It's inspiring and heartwarming, and truly shows how amazing senior pets can be.

Check it out here, then head to your local shelter and find the senior pet that's meant to be yours.

Click here to learn more about Hill's® Science Diet® and find the food that's right for your pet. And follow Hill's Pet on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for updates and more!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hill's. The opinions and text are all mine.

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